Your Guide to a High Protein Diet

We’re all becoming more and more conscious of what we eat, and what effect it can have on our bodies and overall health. With health experts telling us on a regular basis that the population is overweight and that we don’t make the choices we should be making, you might be wondering how you can kick-start a healthy eating regime. We already aware that we should be eating a balanced diet, which is sometimes easier said than done, but what else could you do? As much as a balanced diet will help, there are other avenues you can go down that will give you a boost.

When it comes to mapping out your food and deciding what you should be including, you may want to pay some attention to protein. An important part of everyone’s diet, it could be a way to help or lose weight and ensure you are being as healthy as possible.

What’s so special about protein?

Proteins are an essential part of your diet because they can help a number of functions that our body needs. These include growth, healthy bones, brain development and production of hormones. But what are they? How do they help us follow a healthier lifestyle?

Proteins are made up of amino acids; 22 in total. 8 of these are deemed essential because our bodies don’t make them, so we have to find them from other sources. Animal proteins, which includes meat and eggs, can sometimes be known as primary proteins as they contain those 8 that we need. Some of the best protein sources include grass-fed meat, eggs and fish.

Meat is known as a high quality protein, with the right distribution of amino acids. While we may all benefit from making sure we’re including enough protein in our diet, there are some specific instances where a high protein diet is encouraged.

Who needs a high protein diet?

There are some types of people who will benefit further from following a high protein diet. Some stages of life require extra protein, such as adolescence when you are growing, or if you are pregnant, or training regularly.

If you’re following an intense training regime, you will need to repair and rebuild muscle tissue. In other words, in the gym you are trying to build muscle cells, but this is difficult without those all-important amino acids.

Other people who may benefit from a high protein diet are those who are trying to lose or maintain their weight. Protein takes longer to digest which can leave us feeling fuller for longer. The Paleo diet is known particularly for its basis on high protein.

Lean protein can help to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol, and can even have a positive effect on your metabolism. Foods that are high in protein take more work to eat, digest and use; so you’re actually burning calories when processing them. It has been shown that protein can help you to lose fat; your body uses amino acids to build muscle, which in turn will help you to burn calories even when you’re not active.

So, if you’re looking for a way to look after your weight, or help you boost your efforts in the gym, you may find protein more helpful than you think!

Gain Weight – Eat More Protein Than the Daily Amount Required

For some time, let’s keep the beginner misconceptions aside, it is a very well-known fact that main muscle growth is not attained only by training. If your aim is to put on 15 pound mass of muscle in just six short weeks, you have to consume a lot of carbohydrates, a lot of protein and even a good amount of fat. However, it is not as simple as consuming no matter what you can get hold of.

Sure, visiting McDonald’s and having two big burgers, fries and a regular coke on a daily basis can land you on gaining weight — but this weight that you are gaining is a wrong kind of weight and not advisable.

Building worth muscle less a perfect tummy takes a well-designed plan, one which makes you eat the right sort of foods at the right times and in most favourable proportions. It may sound quite complicated, but let’s break it down into nice and easy pieces.

Protein juice, supplements and other protein based products are time and again, publicized as food for weight loss, but they can definitely have the reverse effect as well. Any kind of food which encloses calories in it can make weight gain possible, only if you consume it in surplus. So it is significant to timepiece your serving amount and stay within suggested nutrient quantity if weight is your main concern.

Recommendations for Weight Gain through Protein

The quantity of protein that you require on a regular basis totally depends on various factors, for instance, your age, weight, and level of activity. As a general rule, Rice University suggests that inactive adults consume 0.4 grams of protein per pound of their body weight and that adults who are much more active consume up to 0.6 grams per pound of their body weight.

For a 200 pound adult, this means planning for 70 to 100 grams of protein at a regular basis. Occasionally having above that amount is hardly ever harmful, but having to do so on a longstanding basis might raise your regular calorie ingestion along with that your increased chances of heart disease, kidney problems and digestive issues.

fries and steak

Calorie Control 

Consuming a large amount of protein is definitely not going to make you increase your weight, but having plenty of calories can – and there is over and over again a connection between the two since a few high protein based foods are known to be high in fat and calories as well.

If you are on a diet with high protein and do not wish to gain weight, then take care that you are burning additional calories than you are eating by maintaining a thorough journal for food and exercising on a regular basis.

There are many digital exercise calculators and calorie counters available in the market that can help you to figure out the amount of calories that you are burning with daily exercise and activities.

Food Guidelines

ham and bacon club sandwich on a white background
ham and bacon club sandwich on a white background

Going with high protein based foods, which are low in calories will also assist you in keeping your weight in check. The USDA suggests consuming mostly lean white meat, fish, beans, extra lean beef, legumes, peas, soy items and nuts.

Prefer eating dairy based foodstuffs which are generally labelled as low fat, fat free or non-fat. If you are subsequently following a diet with high protein and are consuming protein shakes or supplements, make sure that you use them as along with your meal that are the part of your well planned diet occasionally, this might help you in gaining weight.

When you are choosing which foods to eat, make sure that you go with the diet plan which offers about 50% of your calorie intake directly from proteins, in particular lean proteins.

Here is a list of protein based food that can help you in bulking up. A large fraction of your diet plan must consist of lean proteins from sources like

  • Fish as in cod, tuna or salmon
  • Red meats as in lean steaks and lean beef
  • Chicken and turkey
  • Dairy based products like low-fat yogurts, milk, and cottage cheese
  • Lamb
  • Ham
  • Legumes
  • Pork
  • Eggs
  • Tofu
  • Protein supplements as in soy protein and whey protein supplements.

Considerations 

Make sure that you get an approval from your consultant or a registered dietician prior to making any key alteration to your diet plan, in particular if you have any history medical condition. Subsequently following a diet with high protein can in fact be an efficient way to curb weight loss or work toward steady weight gain.

BUILDING A STRОNG IMMUNЕ SYSTEM WITH NUTRITION AND HЕRBЅ

Thе іmmunе ѕуѕtеm іѕ рrоbаblу thе mоѕt соmрlеx ѕуѕtеm оf our еntіrе body. It іѕ соnѕtаntlу working wіthіn our bоdіеѕ аnd protecting uѕ frоm оur еxtеrnаl environment. Thrоughоut our еntіrе body, wе find соmроnеntѕ оf thе immune ѕуѕtеmѕ іn оur оrgаnѕ, bоnе marrow, сеllѕ, аntіbоdіеѕ. Thіѕ system рrоtесtѕ uѕ frоm a multіtudе of threats including: vіruѕеѕ, bасtеrіа, fungі, yeasts, саnсеr сеllѕ аnd fоrеіgn рrоtеіnѕ. (Sуmbіоtіс rеlаtіоnѕhірѕ between fоrеіgn organisms with bоdу’ѕ оwn cells support immune function)

Twо kіndѕ of immunity аrе provided by our іmmunе systems, іnnаtе nonspecific immunity and асԛuіrеd іmmunіtу. Sо mаnу things can аffесt our іmmunе ѕуѕtеm’ѕ аbіlіtіеѕ tо funсtіоn at реаk; аllеrgіеѕ, іnfесtіоnѕ, саnсеr, gеnеtісѕ and mоrе. Bаlаnсе іѕ kеу tо іmmunе system hеаlth, but unfоrtunаtеlу many factors саn work to suppress it. Aging, allergies and infections саn rеduсе іmmunе соmреtеnсе. Cаnсеr, surgery, rаdіаtіоn, chemotherapy аnd аntіbіоtіс thеrару саn аll wеаkеn immunity.

Immune function саn also bе suppressed аnd wеаkеnеd by thе fоllоwіng: infection, stress, emotional and рѕусhоlоgісаl еxреrіеnсеѕ, сhеmісаlѕ аnd drugs, еnvіrоnmеntаl роllutаntѕ аnd nutrіtіоnаl dеfісіеnсіеѕ.

Sеlеnіum is best absorbed when соnѕumеd wіth Vitamin E. Thе best Vіtаmіn E rісh ѕоurсе wоuld bе sunflower оr ѕаfflоwеr оіl which аrе polyunsaturated fats аnd have 65-70% lіnоlеіс асіd which іѕ аlѕо gооd for immune ѕuрроrt. Thе richest ѕоurсе оf ѕеlеnіum іѕ thе Brazil nut. A ѕіnglе nut соntаіnѕ the rесоmmеndеd dаіlу vаluе оf ѕеlеnіum іntаkе.

The nutrіеnt раіr of Vіtаmіn A аnd zіnс аrе nееdеd for сеllulаr іmmunіtу аnd thе раіr of Vіtаmіn E аnd selenium stimulate аntіbоdу рrоduсtіоn. Thе B vіtаmіnѕ also hеlр with antibody рrоduсtіоn, B6 being the mоѕt important. Irоn аnd copper help іnсrеаѕе rеѕіѕtаnсе tо іnfесtіоn аnd copper саn bаlаnсе оut zinc, but tоо much of either саn be іmmunоѕuррrеѕѕіvе.

While соnѕumіng аll of уоur body’s nutrients through food іѕ thе bеѕt wау аnd thеу аrе the mоѕt еаѕіlу аѕѕіmіlаtеd іn this fоrm, a multivitamin thаt includes thеѕе antioxidants аnd essential vіtаmіnѕ аnd mіnеrаlѕ will рrоvіdе аddіtіоnаl support.

When coming down wіth a соld оr thе flu or an infection, іt іѕ bеѕt tо іnсrеаѕе іntаkе оf Vіtаmіn A via supplementation tо 25,000-50,000 IU, Vіtаmіn C tо 4-8 grаmѕ аnd zіnс to 50-100 mсg. Addіng garlic, a nаturаl аntіbіоtіс аnd gоldеnѕеаl tо іmрrоvе іmmunіtу through tоnіfісаtіоn іѕ аlѕо аdvіѕеd. Ginseng tеа or non-alcohol extract wіll hеlр rebuild еnеrgу as уоu rесоvеr аnd licorice root ѕhоuld bе uѕеd fоr stress related іmmunе рrоblеmѕ by ѕuрроrtіng еnеrgу аnd аdrеnаl bаlаnсе аnd іntеrfеrоn production.

Mеdісіnаl muѕhrооmѕ such аѕ, ѕhііtаkе, mаіtаkе аnd rеіѕhі рrоvіdе immune ѕуѕtеm ѕuрроrt thrоugh compounds knоwn as bеtа-gluсаnѕ whісh activate thе іmmunе system.

Olіvе lеаf соntаіnѕ thе compound oleuropein, whісh еxhіbіtѕ antibacterial, antiviral аnd аntі-fungаl properties, mаkіng іt uѕеful for fіghtіng various tуреѕ оf internal іnfесtіоnѕ.

Utіlіzіng thеѕе роwеrful phytonutrients will bооѕt аnd ѕuрроrt орtіmum іmmunе funсtіоn, hеlріng you overcome іnfесtіоn. Start consuming nutrient dеnѕе fооdѕ as part оf уоur rеgulаr dіеt tо buіld a healthy іmmunе ѕуѕtеm аnd ѕuррlеmеnt with immune strengthening hеrbѕ at thе fіrѕt ѕіgn оf іnfесtіоn оr іllnеѕѕ аnd уоu wіll ѕооn fіnd уоurѕеlf experiencing vіbrаnt hеаlth.

Calories in Canned Corn – Weight Loss Recipes

Canned corn is a relatively common item at the groceries. It’s also a common ingredient in many recipes, and preparing corn recipes is actually easy because of this. If you want to prepare this kind of recipes then click here to know more information about how to cook canned corn.

However, preparing corn recipes is sometimes not enough. To stay healthy, you will also need to choose those recipes which offer health and weight loss benefits. This isn’t always easy, as corn has fattening properties, but it’s not impossible either. So if you want to become healthy with corn then the information below may offer you the help you need.

The Benefits of Canned Corn

Corn has several benefits. First of all, it increases antioxidant activity, which not only improves the body’s general health but also improves immunity from illnesses.

Secondly, corn contains lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which help to improve eyesight. Finally, corn also offers a certain amount of dietary fiber, which can help you if you have digestive problems.

These benefits are preserved in most canned corn products at the market, and there aren’t really any major differences between canned corn and fresh corn on the cob. So as far as nutritional value goes, there’s really nothing to worry about.

On the other hand, it’s important to remember that corn contains sugar and carbohydrates, so eating them in large amounts will increase your weight. In fact, an ear of corn contains around 24.70 grams of carbohydrates and about 5.30 grams of sugar. So eating too much corn is bad for your weight and health.

Unfortunately, removing the sugar and carbs from corn is impossible using conventional cooking methods. This is why many recipes that use canned corned as secondary ingredients because using too much is not good for one’s health. Here are three recipes that use corn without causing health or weight problems.

corn okra tomatoes recipe
Top view of a bowl filled with corn, okra and stewed tomatoes in water with seasonings on a wood table top.

Corn Soup

Perhaps one of the healthiest ways to eat corn is through soup. Corn soups benefit from the taste of corn without forcing you to eat too much actual corn. To prepare corn soup, here’s a recipe that you may find useful.

Ingredients

– Around two thousand grams worth of canned corn

– One tablespoon of olive oil

– Three hundred sixty grams of onions

– Salt

– Two hundred grams of potatoes

– A whole chicken, prepared

The Process

First of all, take the canned corn and set it aside in a bowl. Next, peel and chop the onions and potatoes. Once you’re finished, set them aside in another bowl.

Take the oil and heat it inside a large pot. Set your stove to medium heat. Once the pot is reasonably warm, add the onions as well as the half teaspoon of salt. Stir the whole thing occasionally until the onions soften, after which you should add the potatoes and stock in the pot, and then set the heat to boil.

Don’t stop stirring until the potatoes and onions are soft. Once they are, add the corn and keep cooking until everything is nice and hot. Put everything in a bowl and serve.

Squash and Corn Soup

If you prefer something more vegetarian then the squash and corn soup is a good alternative to many traditional corn soups. Here’s what you will need.

Ingredients

– One tablespoon of olive oil

– One chopped medium shallot

– About one pound of diced summer squash

– Three teaspoons of chopped thyme and/or oregano

– One can of vegetable or chicken broth

– A quarter teaspoon of salt

– One cup of fresh corn

– One teaspoon of lemon juice

The Process

Start by heating a saucepan over medium heat. Once it’s warm, add the oil and then the shallot. Stir the whole thing for about a minute then add the squash and then one teaspoon of herbs. Stir the whole thing for 3 to 5 minutes or until the squash starts to become soft.

Next, add the broth and salt then wait for everything to boil. Once the whole thing is boiling, lower your stove’s heat to a simmer and then stir the squash until it’s translucent.

The third step is to puree the soup in a blender until it’s nice and smooth and then transfer it into a pan. This is where you will need to add the corn, but you will also need to keep stirring the soup as you add them.

Once the soup seems properly mixed, lower the heat to medium and stir it occasionally until the corn is tender. Once the soup is brought to a simmer, cut off the heat and then stir in the lemon juice.

Serve the soup in a bowl. Additionally, you also have the option of serving the whole thing with a garnish of herbs, but it’s your choice.

corn fresh tuna salad recipe
Fresh tuna salad

Corn Salad

Another good weight loss canned corn recipe is the corn salad. Not only do they exclude fatty foods, they also include many healthy ingredients. Here’s how you can prepare your own.

Ingredients

– Two to Three cans of corn (or equivalent to four cobs)

– Baby Tomatoes

– Olive Oil

– Vinegar

– Garlic

– Scallion

– Basil

– Two tablespoons of basil

The Process

Like most salads, the corn salad is easy to make. First of all, you will need to take the cans of corn and put their contents into a large bowl. Add the scallions and tomatoes in equal proportions, and then add the dressing (i.e. the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, and basil).

You can also add some cheese and eggs for added flavor, but if you’re on a strict diet then they are not necessary.

Additional Tips

Aside from these recipes, it’s also worth mentioning that most canned corn products that we find at the groceries tend to have preservatives. So before you buy some canned corn for one of your recipes, try to pick the ones that offer the least amount of preservatives.

Also, there are many kinds of canned corn. There’s sweet corn, flint corn, dent corn, etc. Normally, recipes don’t require you to buy a specific type of canned corn, but if it does then you should pay attention to the type of corn you buy at the store.

Finally, if you’re concerned about your health, look at how much sugar and carbohydrates a particular type of canned corn contains. Sometimes, certain brands may add a few a sweeteners to make their products tastier. So pay attention to the table of nutrients.

About the Author Lita Watson:

lita guest post author corn recipesHi there! I’m Lita, voice of Quick Easy Cook and I’m absolutely in love with cooking blogs. I’m a beginner in cooking and i try my best to make it quick and easy. Even though, it’s not always quick and easy to keep up with fancy dinners… so i keep learning and blogging about quick and easy ways to create delicious and yummy foods for my two kids and a wonderful husband.

4 Things that Hold Back Your Fitness Progress

Image source: Flickr

It’s happened to nearly everyone with a fitness goal: you set a goal, you plan how to work towards it – and then progress doesn’t happen. Or you may see excellent progress for a while, only to see it slow down as you continue to exercise. While there are many possible reasons for progress to stall, many fitness enthusiasts see their progress slow down due to issues that are fairly simple to correct. Below are four things that might be holding back your progress.

1. Your Diet

You likely know that cravings can get in the way of a weight loss plan. And while much of the available advice on diet and fitness seems to be geared toward weight loss, checking in with your diet is beneficial even if you aren’t trying to lose weight.

Fitness model Ava Cowan is careful to monitor her total caloric intake in order to keep her body fat low, but she also makes sure that she consumes enough protein and complex carbohydrates to fuel her progress in the gym. And while some people may be reluctant to substitute some of their favorite foods with nutritionally sound choices, you can make healthier versions of your favorites. For instance, Cowan makes a protein pancake recipe that tastes much like traditional pancakes, but with more protein and fewer refined carbs.

If you are not meeting a fitness goal, be sure to look to your diet to make sure you are eating for that goal. If you are trying to gain lean mass and are not doing so, chances are good that you need to eat more total calories and more protein to reach that goal. If you are training for a marathon, a century (a 100-mile cycle race), or other endurance race and find yourself chronically fatigued, you may need to make sure you are eating enough complex carbohydrates.

2. Not Following the Principle of Progressive Overload

While diet is a common pitfall of fitness enthusiasts (there’s a reason that many people say that abs are made in the kitchen), it is not the only pitfall. All too often, people fall short of their goals because they eventually stop challenging themselves. This is where the concept of progressive overload comes in. This concept essentially means continually increasing the demands placed on your body in order to make it continually develop.

This concept is frequently discussed in strength training circles Whether you are training for size or strength, you need to continually challenge yourself by adding weight to the bar, adding more repetitions, decreasing rest times, adding volume, or a combination of those things.

The concept of progressive overload holds true for other workout types, too. If you have a home gym, diversifying the exercises you do can help make your exercise sessions more challenging. One way to find these additional exercises is by looking at detailed customer reviews, since reviewers often mention their preferred exercises to do on a given piece of equipment. For instance, if you have a Bowflex or Weider home gym, searching for Weider or Bowflex home gym reviews can give you ideas for additional exercise routines, some of which may have even been developed by the reviewers themselves. Looking at the manufacturer’s website may also offer additional information for those looking to expand their routines.

If you’ve been running the same route five times a week for several months, your body has adapted. In order to progress as a runner, adding in interval training or just choosing a route with more hills is a good start to progressive overload. It’s easy to become complacent in your workouts, but adding a new challenge on a regular basis can make a major difference in achieving your goals.

3. Your Goals Are Not Clear

It’s challenging to measure progress when you aren’t sure what you’re progressing towards, and this is why it’s vitally important that you define your goals. You will have a much easier time measuring progress if your goal is to be able to deadlift 400 pounds by next October than if your goal is just to get stronger.

Fitness coach Drew Baird explains the importance of goal setting using an apt analogy: starting a fitness routine without a clear goal is like driving to a party without knowing where the party is located. It’s ultimately frustrating and unfulfilling. When you know where you’re going, you’ll get there quickly, and maybe even have a good time.

In general, it is also helpful to set a series of smaller goals leading up to you big goal. This way, you can measure how you are progressing and also feel accomplished as you continue to move closer to your ultimate goal.

4. You Aren’t Hydrating Enough

When you’re busy going through your life, it’s easy to forget to stay hydrated enough. But staying hydrated boosts your metabolism and helps you feel alert and awake. If being or feeling sluggish is getting in your way, making sure you drink enough water can go a long way toward helping you stay motivated and energized enough to meet your goals.

If you are having trouble drinking water, adding a little flavoring – either a commercial flavoring or a splash of fruit juice – can help you feel like drinking more water. And while there are different schools of thought on how much water you should drink, the average sedentary adult should drink between 75 and 101 ounces of water, and the National Association of Sports Medicine suggests that active people drink eight additional ounces per 25 pounds of body weight.

Final thoughts

Choosing to work toward a fitness goal is an admirable pursuit, but many people become discouraged and give up if they sense they aren’t making progress. With the above tips, you’ll be more likely to stay on track and successfully reach the goals you’ve set.

7 Reasons to Add a Protein Shake To Your Diet

Did you start your workout routine to get ready for summer? Are you wondering how to boost that process of losing weight and getting a toned and beautiful body? If the answer is yes, then you have come to the right place. We all need a little help while working to get the body from our dreams. And that is the trick. You need to choose the right technique that would be healthy yet efficient to help you achieve your goal. What we have to suggest you is drinking a delicious protein shake that is supposed to boost your energy levels and get you in a mood to feel motivated enough to complete your working out season. We will give you 7 reasons that will help you understand why you should add a delicious protein shake to your diet.

The 7 reasons why you should use it regularly

  1. Protein shakes will help you gain muscle – When you work out, whatever form of working out have you chosen, certain muscle tissues are torn, and they need to be rebuilt once again if you are interested in adding a bit more muscle weight. This is where the protein shakes come in. As you may know, the proteins in our body are used to build new tissues. And the delicious protein shakes are the best choice that will provide a chance to both rebuild your muscle tissue and let you enjoy their delicious taste. Also, since the protein shake is in a liquid form, the proteins will enter your bloodstream very fast. Just make sure that you drink your protein shake in the moments after your workout is finished to let the protein shake get to your muscles and aid them.
  2. Protein shakes will help you to make sure that you are in taking the right amount of proteins – It is very difficult to determine the exact amount of proteins that you are in taking through food. And we know how important are proteins to our body, especially when you exercise regularly. The protein shake will provide a chance to control the amount of protein that you are in taking in the form of a shake. Maybe the protein shakes cannot decrease the risk of prostate cancer, but they can introduce the right amount of proteins to your diet. So let us ask you this – can it be any more convenient than this?
  3. Protein shakes will help you control your weight – If you are having troubles with controlling your wanted body weight, then you might want to try a delicious protein shake as a meal replacement at least one a day. After drinking a protein shake you will feel full enough to stay away from those unhealthy snacks and empty calories, and you will lose that unwanted weight without having to starve yourself. The protein shake replaces your need for carbohydrates that your body requires to stay energized for the day. However, carbohydrates offer only a short-term of energy levels. And proteins, on the other hand, will help you fill full for a longer time.
  4. Protein shakes burn calories – Certain proteins – known as thermogenic, have the ability to burn a lot of calories and result in strong muscles instead. And if you want to lose weight you know that you have to burn more and more calories. Even if you are just watching your calorie intake, you can use a protein shake to avoid the empty calories that are commonly hidden in our meals.
  5. Protein shakes help control your appetite – We have all experienced a moment when we do not feel hungry because we are aware that we have had our meal recently, but we still feel like we can eat a small meal or have a snack. And we usually do. That is what leads to adding unwanted weight. So if you drink a protein shake, you can suppress that feeling of potential hunger and wait for your next meal as you have planned before.
  6. Protein shakes do not add to your waistline – Some protein shakes have added sugars and artificial sweeteners to add to taste. But these are the exact protein shakes that you need to avoid. These are the protein shakes that add to your weight line. However, the healthy protein shakes that you can prepare at home do not add to your waistline. On the contrary, as we mentioned before, protein shakes will burn calories and help you lose weight, not add extra weight. They might not be the way to improve memory, but they can sure help you to lose some weight.
  7. Protein shakes will help you increase your muscle strength – You will not only boost your muscle growth, but you will also increase your strength. A study performed by the researchers at the Baylor University examined 20 participants of who half received placebo, and half received casein protein and amino acids. In the end, increased muscle strength and muscle mass have been noticed among the group who received the free amino acids and casein protein as compared with the group that received placebo.

 

Conclusion

Losing weight through healthy diet and regular exercise is always the option that you should choose. But who said that you cannot have a bit of help during the process? How about a delicious beverage that could help you lose weight through burning extra calories, keeping you full, decreasing your appetite, increase your muscle strength and mass. We are talking about the delicious, healthy protein shakes that seem to be the thing that everyone is talking about right now. Choose your very own favorite recipe for a delicious protein shake that you can prepare even at home and enjoy the many beneficial effects that we listed before. So tell us, what is the one beneficial effect that has changed your mind about the use of protein shake?

References

https://nutritionandmetabolism.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1743-7075-5-8

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17593904

How to Eat Right to Support Your Mental Health

Mental health diagnoses are becoming increasingly common, for many reasons. They can be caused by anything from inherent chemical imbalances to lyme disease to the stresses of modern life. While it’s a concern that mental health disorders are so prevalent, their pervasiveness helps dispel stigma so people are more likely to seek treatment and knowledge.

One thing we are increasingly learning as a society is that the foods we eat have a huge impact on our mental health, sometimes even more than medications or therapy. If you suffer from mental health disorders, here are some things to know about how foods can help or hurt your condition.

What to Eat, What Not to Eat

Caffeine and Chocolate

For disorders like anxiety and ADD, cutting out caffeine can make a dramatic difference. Caffeine is a stimulant, and can exacerbate hyperactivity and anxiety. It can also upset the digestive system and worsen conditions that often accompany these disorders, like irritable bowel syndrome and GERD. Quitting can make you less sensitive and stressed feeling.

Be aware that you may experience withdrawal symptoms, but it will pay off in the long run. Whether you quit all at once or taper down is up to you. Quitting cold turkey can be unpleasant, but you’ll get through the transition more quickly.

Another thing to watch out for is that if you cut out coffee, you may become more sensitive to caffeine and caffeine-like substances in places you wouldn’t expect, like decaf coffee, green tea, and chocolate, so be mindful of your intake and watch how these things affect you.

Sugar and Carbohydrates

Sugar and refined carbohydrates (like white flour) spike your blood sugar, energy, and cortisol levels, which can send you on an emotional rollercoaster. The effect is strongest when eaten on their own, without protein or fat to buffer them. You’ll feel more mentally stable overall if you gradually cut down on sweets and other simple carbs.

It’s easy to get addicted to sugar, but it’s also easy to wean yourself off it: The less you eat, the less you want to eat. If it feels like too much of a struggle to cut it out completely, start by cutting down a little at a time. Use less sugar in your coffee, or have a whole wheat bagel with butter instead of a muffin.

However, while it’s wise to avoid processed carbs and sugars, moderate amounts of healthy carbohydrates are healthy, especially if you suffer from depression. Complex carbs like fruits, starchy vegetables, and sweet potatoes help your body produce serotonin, a natural mood-booster, and give you energy.

Fish Oil

The great thing about using food to help your mental health is that it typically functions as preventive care. In other words, by eating (or avoiding) certain foods on a daily basis, you can improve your baseline mental health, so you feel better every day and are less likely to have more extreme episodes like anxiety attacks.

Fish oil is a great example of preventive nutrition. It has myriad benefits, boosting everything from brain function to skin health. Many who suffer from mental health disorders find that fish oil helps with depression as well as anxiety, so this is a great supplement for people who are managing both conditions. Get it from eating fatty fish like salmon, or find a high-potency supplement and take a small spoonful before a meal once a day.

Game Plan

Being more mindful about what you eat can take a little more effort, which can present a challenge for those already struggling to cope with day-to-day life. But with the right skills and planning, it doesn’t have to be a stressor.

Prep in Advance

Plan and prep ahead of time to make cooking easier. Spend some time thinking about what you’re going to eat throughout the week and shop with this in mind. You can wash and chop veggies ahead of time to make cooking quicker and easier, or go a step further and batch cook your meals in advance.

Make it Easy

Streamline shopping and cooking so they don’t seem overwhelming and make you anxious, or appear an insurmountable chore when you’re depressed. Shortcuts like buying veggies that are already washed and cut up can make cooking seem less like a time-consuming ordeal. Compile a small repertoire of easy meals with minimal prep and ingredients that you can put together without thinking too much. Think in basic formulas, like “protein plus vegetable plus complex carb,” and have a couple different options for each component.

Keep healthy frozen meals on hand for days you just can’t deal with cooking and carry easy snacks with you when you’re on the go. If you have a packet of almonds in your bag or car, you won’t be tempted to pick up a pastry that will make your nerves jangly for the rest of the day.

Simplify Shopping

Before you go grocery shopping, make a list and organize it by area of the supermarket, so you can get in and out of the store quickly and won’t spend time wandering back and forth.

Food delivery services can also make life more manageable for anxiety sufferers. These apps are especially helpful for those who deal with social anxiety, have difficulty driving, or suffer from depression that makes it hard to get up and out of the house.

In addition to having regular groceries delivered, consider ordering meal kits. Shopping by meal rather than ingredient means there are fewer decisions to make, and there are many companies that offer healthy meals low in sugar and high in nutritious vegetables and protein.

Don’t Chase Perfection

If you find yourself getting obsessive about whether what you’re eating is the best thing for you, or if it stresses you out to feel like you’re denying yourself the foods you love, take a step back. It’s okay not to be perfect. If you eat a mostly balanced diet rich in produce, proteins, and healthy fats, it won’t make a huge difference in your overall mental health if you have a treat now and then. In fact, developing a more relaxed relationship with food can make you feel more stable.

Experiment to see how these foods and meal prep strategies work for you. Keeping a food journal can help you to identify patterns and trigger foods. Everybody is different. Over time, the closer attention you pay to your diet, the better you’ll be able to create a healthy lifestyle that works for you.

Trending Tastes: The pressure cooker is back

Pressure cooking has been around for a long time now. The earliest models of pressure cookers came with a list of defects that somehow discouraged people from using them for so long. However, the trend has been changing drastically and the modern pressure cooker can easily pass as the best way to cook your meals. I don’t know about you but I am a plug and play kind of person who likes everything working in a flash. You can imagine my excitement when I came across the pressure cooker for the first time.

How does it work?

The pressure cooker works on a very simple principle. It comes with a valve that is used to control the steam pressure inside the pot. When the pot is subjected to heat, the liquid inside of the pot forms steam which raises the pressure inside the pot, hence the name pressure cooker. The pressure has two main effects. First, it raises the water’s boiling point. When cooking groceries or any other food, the water can only heat up to the water’s boiling point which is 100 degrees. However, the steam’s pressure raises the boiling point of water up to highs of about 150 degrees Celsius. This has the effect of cooking the food faster than when boiling water with conventional means. Secondly, the high pressure forces moisture into the food which also makes the food cook faster. But in addition to that, the moisture also helps foods to cook well since it goes deeper into foods such as meat.

The extreme pressure also has another advantage; it promotes caramelization and browning of food. This leads to high flavor in foods cooked with a pressure cooker. It is impossible to retain all the flavors in foods when cooking through boiling.

pressure cooker on kitchen counter top

What can you cook with a pressure cooker?

Pressure cooker can be used to cook just about anything. And also use best stainless steel cookware. You can use it to cook rice, beef, and potatoes and so on. It can be used for tougher food items like meat since it softens them faster and the food cooks well. It is a most preferred method of coking meat because of its tenderizing effects. However, even though it is used for every other food, most people prefer using it for beans, potatoes and vegetables. Bonus tip: if you are fond of frying foods, picking the best air fryer will be worth the price for your money.

Challenges of a pressure cooker

Like all things electrical, a pressure cooker comes with its own challenges. To begin with, you have to wait for a certain period of time for the pot to heat up before putting your food inside. Then the food has to be cooked at a certain pressure for a certain period of time. Most pressure cookers come with charts that give directions on the amount of time each food should take when cooking. However, once you get used to it, you will not have a problem with this. One thing about pressure cookers is that once you start cooking food, you cannot open the lid to see how the food is cooking or even to taste it. So you must rely on your judgement as much as you trust the cooker to deliver.

pressure cooker on kitchen counter

All in all, the pressure cooker is worth all the effort and so much more. Besides its efficiency, the cooker is fast and saves you a lot in terms of energy and money.

Best Snacks For The Ketogenic Diet

Snacking while on the ketogenic diet can be quite the challenge! The diet requires more fats, moderate proteins, and minimal carbs. This gets the body into a state of ketosis, the ultimately fat-burning mode.

The problem is, most snacks available are extremely high in carbs and sugars, with minimal fat and protein content. High fat content may be easier to find but the fats are not always the healthy ones that should be required for anybody serious about the ketogenic diet.

This does not mean going keto = no more snacking.

You can still enjoy snacks and keep your body in ketosis! You just have to choose your snacks wisely. Here are our best suggestions:

Pork rinds

These are salty, crunchy keto alternatives to carb-laden chips and crackers. You can eat these as they are or with keto-friendly dips such as sour cream, cream cheese, or low-carb salsa.

Seeds

The best seeds to consume are chia, pumpkin and sunflower seeds. These pack a good amount of healthy fats that help keep you full until the next meal. A few tablespoons are enough as a delicious, crunchy snack when roasted. Chia seeds can also be used to make great puddings which are a great low carb breakfast alternative instead of cereal together with coconut milk.

Nuts

Like seeds, nuts are also rich in healthy fats. Examples of good nuts for snacking are macadamia, Brazil nuts, pecans and walnuts. However, it is best to avoid peanuts and cashews. These have too many carbohydrates in them compared to other nuts, and peanuts are actually a legume, not a nut.

Hummus

This versatile high fat dip helps keep salads more flavorful. Dip low-carb vegetables and other keto-friendly snacks in Hummus for a tasty treat.

Dark Chocolate

This is yet another excuse to keep a bar of dark chocolate within reach. Cacao is ultra-rich in antioxidants and healthy saturated fats that support ketosis. Avoid chocolates that contain anything less than 70% cacao. Especially stay away from milk chocolate since they contain a lot of sugar.

Low Carb Protein Bars

The best choice for the road is high fat and low carb protein bars. These are snack bars often specifically designed to give the ideal ratio of fats, proteins and carbohydrates to keep the body in a ketogenic state.

Hard Cheeses

This is a low carb and high fat snack that also can help strengthen you bones. Hard cheeses are high in calcium that promotes improved bone health.

Jerky

Jerky is rich in natural proteins and fats, mainly made from dried beef. However, do check the nutritional information. Most commercially made jerky are also high in carbs from added sugars or other additives. The carbs are found in the coating that keeps jerky from absorbing moisture, however low carb options are also available.

Guacamole

This is made from one of the few high fat and fiber fruits (avocado) available that can help keep you full between meals. Guacamole makes a perfect dip for other keto snack such as pork rinds.

Heavy whipping cream

Add a handful of frozen berries and some carb/calorie free sweetener (stevia or erythritol) and enjoy a quick dessert that does not come packed with sugar. Cream is rich in fats that can keep you energized all day and tastes just like regular sweet whipping cream when used with a sweetener.

Heavy cream is also a great addition to your coffee for a quick high fat snack. For an even more beneficial experience, seek out low carb creamers specifically designed to be used in drinks on a low carb diets such as the ketogenic diet.

Why Keto?

Ketogenic diets are good for many reasons, but especially good for obese people or diabetics.

It is hard for most people to lose weight and reduce their body fat levels because they are eating too much of the wrong things. What makes it worse is that the average diet is extremely high in sugars.

Fat has gotten an undeservingly bad reputation, so people stay away from it like it’s the plague. Heathy fats are actually good for the body, and the ketogenic diet is proof of that, not to mention all the traditional folk groups that have eaten a diet consisting of 80% calories from fat for thousands of years, for example the Eskimo.

Healthy fats such as grass-fed beef and salmon include omega-3 fatty acids  that protects the heart. There is also the monounsaturated fats in pork rinds and avocados that reduce inflammation in the body. There are also good saturated fats that promote a better lipid profile, such as in coconut.

By going on a ketogenic diet, many benefits can be obtained such as safer and more sustainable weight loss. There is also benefits to hormonal balance and blood sugar levels.

What happens during ketosis?

Ketosis is the state where the body burns fats as it’s primary fuel for energy (instead of carbohydrates) and uses the by-products for energy. One of the by-products is called ketones. These are a more efficient and consistent energy source than glucose (from carbohydrate metabolism).

Start living the keto lifestyle that has grown to become so popular in recent years, and see the many benefits for yourself. Remember, fats are an integral part  any healthy diet.

Alex Eriksson is the founder of Anabolic Health, a men’s health blog dedicated to providing honest and research backed advice for optimal male hormonal health. Anabolic Health aspires to become a trusted resource where men can come and learn how to fix their hormonal problems naturally, without pharmaceuticals. Check out https://www.anabolichealth.com/ to learn more about Alex and his work. You can also find him on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook.

Reasons to Hire an Expert Nutritionist and How to Hire an Expert

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Many people want to live a much better and more active life. Whether it is out of vanity or to keep good health, the consequence, of course, is beneficial. Seeking advice from a nutritionist is pretty common nowadays among those who want to take their health and fitness to the next phase.

With the blitz of numerous weight loss drinks and medications available, you may wonder why you must visit a nutritionist to seek advice. Well, a life of physical fitness and health does not usually happen right away. Most of these pills offer easy treatments; however, without any kind of long lasting results.

Remember that being healthy is not exactly about fad diets and extra dosages of diet pills and weight loss supplements. Many people who self-medicate and force themselves to be on crash diets tend to regain weight after some time. Exercise and good diet is not a fad which should be done occasionally; it should be your way of life. Here is where a nutritionist can help you. Nutritionists advice you not just to improve your body image; they care about your well-being as well.

If you are looking forward to the best nutrition advice from a healthcare professional, make sure you seek the assistance of a registered nutritionist in a clinic nearby. You may find an expert who can help you fulfill your health demands and enhance your overall wellness.

How to hire a good nutritionist?

When looking nutrition experts in your area, check their accreditation, conduct, experience, and ease of access.

  • Find a nutritionist with expertise and qualifications. You are on the lookout for a professional whom you are going to rely on with your health. So, you simply cannot take a chance on a person who knows little on what to do. If you have pre-existing health problems, you must consult with an experienced nutritionist who has handled similar cases as yours.
  • Demeanor and accessibility are important as well. Though this may not be as crucial as experience, motivation and kindness does go a long way as far as taking care of your body is concerned. You require a supportive environment to get going.
  • It does help to ask the specialist as to how he or she approaches diet and exercise since there are varied methods to getting the right nutrition and different experts may have unique approaches. If a regimen has to work, it must be compatible to you.

Well, as the old saying goes, health is wealth; so, take care of it in the right way by seeking advice from the right person. With the help of an expert, staying in shape and being healthy and fit is easy.